It’s important that we continue keep ourselves, our loved ones and community protected from COVID-19. In the information below we’ve outlined how to get tested, what to do if your are COVID-19 positive, how to get vaccinated and how to access any additional support you may need. We’ve also included special information for older people, those living with disabilities and immune compromised individuals, who are at higher risk of infection.
Please note: You can access COVID-19 vaccine information in-language here.
How do I get tested?
Rapid antigen tests (RATs) are the preferred means of testing for COVID-19 for most Victorians. They are quick and accurate, particularly if you have symptoms or if you have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19.
If you have COVID-19 symptoms and get a negative RAT result, stay home until your symptoms go away and continue to take RATs over the next several days. RATs are better able to detect COVID-19 when repeated over successive days but do not detect other respiratory viruses like influenza.
RATs are free at state testing sites when you present your Medicare card. You can collect five RATs per person listed on your Medicare card. NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) participants and Disability Support pensioners can collect up to 20 RATs at selected testing sites and through Disability Liaison Officers.
If you would like to know more about COVID-19 testing, please visit the Victorian Government website here or call the 24/7 Coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398.
What do I do if I test positive for COVID-19?
If you test positive for COVID-19, report your result online or by calling 1800 675 398 (press 0 for a translator) so that you can access the right care and treatment if you’re eligible. You should isolate for at least 5 days and until you do not have any symptoms. If you need to leave home in an emergency, wear a face mask.
It’s timportant you tell your workplace, school, people you live with and anyone else you may have come in contact with that you have tested positive. Stay home and don’t have people over if possible. If you must have visitors to your home, let them know you have COVID-19 so they can take steps to protect themselves. Organise home delivery of essentials such as food and medicines, and get support from your family and friends. Find out more about what to do if you test positive or if you are a close contact here.
For most people, recovering from COVID-19 at home is the best option. Managing COVID-19 at home when you have mild symptoms ensures hospital beds are kept free for people who are seriously unwell and need urgent medical treatment. Eligible people who have COVID-19 can also access antivirals and other medicines to prevent them from getting so sick that they need to go to hospital. These medical treatments are also called early therapies, or antivirals, and can be life-saving. However, these medications do not replace vaccinations. Vaccinations are the best protection to protect you from becoming severely ill with COVID-19.
It’s important to watch your symptoms and get help if you feel like they are worsening. If you feel that your symptoms are worsening contact a GP, GP Respiratory Clinic or the National Coronavirus Helpline on . For urgent help, please call Triple Zero ().
How do I get vaccinated?
Getting vaccinated protects you against COVID-19, helps prevent you from getting seriously ill and reduces the spread of COVID-19 to others. COVID-19 vaccines are free and available to everyone aged 5 and over at pharmacies and GP clinics across Victoria. The more people who get vaccinated, the more protection there is for you, your loved ones and your community. Book your vaccination here. Find information on vaccines in your language here.
How do I access support?
There are a number of support packages available to individuals, families and businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19, including financial relief, food relief, rent relief and assistance with paying utility bills. Find out more about about the packages you’re eligible for here.
FAMILY RECOVERY FUND
Individuals and families who have been significantly impacted by COVID-19 can access case management support (with a focus on mental health recovery, education, training and employment) through the Family Recovery Program. Information regarding this program is available in 13 community languages. If you would like more information or would like to register your interest in accessing this fund, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
EXTREME HARDSHIP SUPPORT PROGRAM
The Extreme Hardship Support Program (EHSP) provides emergency financial assistance to people on temporary and provisional visas, and undocumented migrants not eligible for government income support. The EHSP assists people with zero or very limited savings, income or community support to pay for food, medicine and bills during the pandemic. It is a Victorian Government program delivered by the Brotherhood of St Laurence and Red Cross.
PARTNERS IN WELLBEING
Partners in Wellbeing is an initiative funded by the Victorian Government and delivered by Neami National, EACH and the ACSO. The initiative provides free and confidential wellbeing coaching, veterans support, and small business support, which includes personal support for small business owners, financial counselling and a Business Advisory Service to help small business owners develop in the areas of marketing, HR management and more.
ECCV has produced a series of in-language COVID-19 videos featuring the stories of inspiring seniors in our diverse communities. Find out more here.
Coronavirus hotline: 1800 675 398
If you are concerned you may have COVID-19 and need help understanding what to do next or what support services are available, please call the dedicated 24/7 hotline.
If you need an interpreter, call the hotline on 1800 675 398 and press 0.
Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.
Our COVID-19 Multicultural Outreach team is working alongside a range of organisations and health experts to deliver education sessions with the aim of keeping migrant and refugee communities across Victoria supported, engaged and informed about the public health response to the pandemic.
The Victorian Government has translated videos in 18 languages on the following COVID-19 related topics:
- How to access financial and other support when you need to get a test or isolate at home and can’t go to work
- Your mental health and wellbeing
- Getting tested for coronavirus quickly
- Staying at home when you test positive for COVID-19, or are a close contact.
Find the videos here: www.youtube.com/c/VicGovDH/playlists
It is important to look after your mental health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are a number of specialist mental health services and resources available for Victorians from migrant and refugee backgrounds. Find them here. You can also call to get support through your local Mental Health & Wellbeing Hub, which provides free support for all Victorians.
North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network (NWMPHN) has produced a range of in-language videos about mental health. Find them here. The federal Government also has translated videos about taking care of your mental wellbeing during the pandemic, including the one in Cantonese below. Find them all here.